CORPORATE BRIEFS

VSŽ Board of Directors now has six members

Shareholders of Slovakia's troubled steelmaker VSŽ Košice met at a regular shareholders' meeting in Košice on May 21, at which they approved the creation of a six-member board of directors. The body has consisted of three members until now.

John Goodish resigned as a member of the board of directors. Remaining are Gabriel Eichler (the current vice-chair of the board of directors and VSŽ President) and Ladislav Drábik (the current chairman of the board of directors and vice president for human resources).

Sergej Zápotocký (VSŽ's Vice President of Marketing and Sales), Ján Valenčík (Vice President for Restructuring), Vladimír Repčák (Vice President for Finance) and Attila Tóth (Director of the Novitech company) were installed as new board members.

The shareholders' meeting left the VSŽ Supervisory Board unchanged.

Shareholders also okayed the annual final accounts for 1998. As reads the statement, the company ended last year with a loss of 11.06 billion Slovak crowns, compared with the planned 643 million crown profit. VSŽ spokesman Jozef Marko said the loss will be covered partly from reserves and capital funds, while the remaining 3 billion crowns will be settled gradually from future profits in upcoming years.

Shareholders also discussed changes in VSŽ statutes, rejecting a proposal to prolong the term of a member of the board of directors from the current six months to four years. A proposal to prohibit the presence of supervisory board members at meetings of the board of directors was also vetoed.

The meeting was held in the presence of 95 shareholders, controlling 10,809,434 shares (65.7% of VSŽ share assets).

In early November 1998, VSŽ representatives admitted that growing problems in the global metallurgical industry had had an effect on VSŽ Holding, and said they expected to end the year with serious losses. They also stressed the need to focus their investments exclusively on metallurgy, to restructure the company completely, including the reduction of its labor force, and to give up the firm's stakes in financial institutions.

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